Nolan Arenado has looked at the calendar. He has also looked at the record of his Colorado Rockies and he knows that there is a growing sense of urgency that comes with each day if Colorado is going to return to the postseason for a third consecutive season.
Following the 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Coors Field on Saturday night, the Colorado Rockies had posted a 23-27 record through their first 50 games. They entered Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, with San Diego and Arizona sitting between the Dodgers and Rockies in the NL West standings.
Sure, they are 4.5 games out of the Wild Card spot but there are five teams between them and a postseason berth through the season’s first 50 games. Yes, it will once again be a battle for the playoffs and the Rockies are going to have to make up ground to make Rocktober happen again.
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There are some out there who say it’s still early in the season and there is still plenty of baseball to play with 112 games left in Colorado’s regular season. However, Nolan Arenado says the time for urgency with the Rockies happened well before the 50-game milestone on Saturday night.
“It’s not early any more. I think it’s already happened,” Arenado said in an exclusive chat inside the Colorado clubhouse. “I think the season wasn’t early any more after the Milwaukee series (when Colorado split on the road with the Brewers between April 29 and May 2). It’s not early any more. Now it’s a matter of winning.”
In Colorado’s 16 series so far this season, the Rockies have won six, lost six and split four. That includes a split in Boston, a sweep at the hands of the Phillies in Philadelphia and winning two of three in Pittsburgh, all as part of Colorado’s most recent eight-game road trip.
The jaunt through the Northeast was a microcosm of the season for Colorado. The Rockies went to Boston to start the trip two games under .500 and returned to Denver four games under .500. A step forward (winning the road opener in extra innings in Boston) was followed by a step back (losing four consecutive games).
Arenado and the Rockies know it’s time for the missteps to end if they’re going to make an impact in October. They know it’s time to win. The clock is ticking.